The Toronto Raptors have enjoyed a fast start to the NBA season, posting straight-up wins in eight of 11 outings to sit in second place in the Eastern Conference standings. However, the Raptors have failed to make gains on the NBA championship odds, where they continue to trail the favourites as a +2500 bet at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Fresh off their first NBA championship victory in franchise history, the Raptors returned to action amid tempered expectations following the departures of Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. The club tumbled to a +2000 bet on the NBA futures in the wake of Leonard’s signing with the Los Angeles Clippers, and saw their projected win total pegged at just 46.5, well back of the 58 games they won last season.
The Raptors have built their solid 8-3 start on strong play on home hardwood, where they are unbeaten straight up through four outings, and will have ample opportunity to pad that record when they begin a stretch of 22 games featuring 15 home dates when they return to Scotiabank Arena for a game against Charlotte on Monday night.
While the Raptors have yet to gain traction on the NBA championship odds, Leonard and his Clippers continue to lead the way joining the Los Angeles Lakers as +300 co-favourites on those futures. The Clippers maintain their perch despite a middling 7-4 SU start that featured outright losses in three of four road contests.
Conversely, the Lakers sit atop the Western Conference standings after racking up wins in nine of 11 outings. However, six of the Lakers’ nine victories to date have come against opponents that failed to reach the playoffs last season, and their two defeats have come at the hands of the Clippers and the Raptors.
Closely trailing the favourites on those NBA odds, the Milwaukee Bucks lead all Eastern Conference teams at +600, just ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers at +700, while the Houston Rockets round out the front of the pack at +800.
Milwaukee leads the NBA in team scoring in the early going, averaging 119.9 points per game. The Sixers stormed out of the gate with five straight wins, but have lost four of six since then, while the Rockets have powered to second place in the West during a five-game SU win streak.
Elsewhere, the Boston Celtics trail at +2000 on the latest championship futures despite leading the NBA with a 9-1 SU record, while the five-time defending Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors sit well off the pace at a distant +10000.